You get one set of adult teeth, and if you lose a tooth, it’s gone for good. Although you can replace it with a prosthetic, it’s better if you protect your teeth with a mouth guard and avoid the pain and hassle. So, who needs a mouth guard?
Ever since Invisalign® hit the dental scene in 1997, teens have begged their parents for them. During a time in their lives full of social pressure and intense scrutiny over every physical feature, teens with metal braces endure a special kind of misery. So, naturally, they lobby hard for an invisible version that will make their social life much easier.
But you have concerns beyond the look of their profile pic; you want what’s best for your child’s oral health — and so do we. Benjamin C. Wang, DMD, at Centerport Family & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, hears the concern of teens and parents alike and has good news for you both.
Dr. Wang has been working with Invisalign since the early days with profound success. He finds that in almost all cases of crooked and crowded teeth, Invisalign clear aligners do the job as well or better than traditional braces. Here’s why.
None of the benefits of Invisalign matter if they don’t do the job you pay for them to do — straighten teeth. So let us put your mind at ease right now. Invisalign clear aligners are powerful tools that correct the most common misalignment problems, including:
Invisalign fixes these problems little by little, just like braces but without all the hardware.
Dr. Wang takes 3D digital images of your teen’s teeth that become the blueprint for their first Invisalign trays. They snap these plastic trays directly onto their teeth, and over the course of the next week or two, their crooked teeth start to reposition themselves and conform to the mold.
Dr. Wang creates a series of these trays so your teen can switch to the next level week after week, until their teeth reach their goal position — which for some patients is as little as six months.
Now that you know they work, you can consider the other benefits of Invisalign, like the fact that they promote better oral hygiene. Traditional braces are very effective at straightening teeth, but they make it hard for your teen to keep their teeth clean. Food gets stuck in and around the wires and brackets allowing plaque and tartar to build up, which leads to cavities and gum disease.
But Invisalign clear aligners are removable. In fact, it’s required that they be removed when your teen eats or drinks, so they have a chance to thoroughly brush and floss before snapping their aligners back into place.
For all the good that comes from traditional metal braces, no one can claim they’re comfortable. In some cases, they can be downright painful. In addition to the discomfort experienced when the wires are tightened at each appointment, patients with metal braces often suffer some soft-tissue damage to their tongue and lips, especially as they get used to new braces.
And if your teen takes a blow to the face by a ball or elbow in sports, it can lead to a serious injury. Broken and protruding wires can also poke their cheek or lips causing cuts and infections.
With traditional braces, your teen has to give up a long list of favorite foods for the duration of the treatment, which may be as long as two years. Gum, popcorn, soda, chips, chewy snacks, and crunchy nuts are all hazardous to metal braces and tend to get lodged in the nooks and crannies.
But with Invisalign, your teen can continue to eat anything they want, as long as they remove their trays beforehand.
One of the well-known drawbacks of wearing braces is the constant need to go back to the dentist for adjustments or to fix broken braces. Invisalign eliminates the need for all the back-and-forth trips. Dr. Wang customizes your teen’s treatment plan and gives you all the trays you’ll need for their entire treatment.
It’s best to come see him once every other month so he can check progress, but unless your teen experiences some kind of problem or concern, you can forego all those schedule-busting appointments.
Although this final benefit is likely at the top of your teen’s priority list and close to the bottom of yours, we urge you to consider the powerful difference in the confidence between teens who wear metal braces and those who wear Invisalign. Because Invisalign trays are clear, no one knows your teen is wearing them unless they are very close.
This is a revolutionary development in teeth-straightening treatments that solves a very real problem. Confident, happy teens tend to perform better academically and socially.
If you have a teen in need of straighter teeth, consider Invisalign under the care of Dr. Wang. Call our office or book an appointment online to find out how you and your teen can both win with Invisalign.
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